County's Track and Field Athletes Head to Sectionals
Hoosac Valley juniors Travis and Trevor Ciempa are among the county's top contenders for individual titles at this Saturday's Central/Western Massachusetts Track and Field Championships.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association sectionals will be held on two sites -- Fitchburg State University for Division 2 and Westfield State for D1.
The Ciempas are part of a large county contingent making the trip to Fitchburg, and Travis will make an even longer trip than most athletes at the meet: eight turns around the track in the 2-mile run.
Travis enters the meet with the top qualifying time in the event, 9 minutes, 36.11 seconds.
The county could dominate the medal stand in the 2-mile with four Berkshire runners among the top six seed times. Monument Mountain's Weyessa "Ace" McAlister is second with a time of 9:37.12. Lenox's Tucker McNinch and Mount Greylock's Tommy Kirby are third and fourth, respectively, going into the meet.
In the 800 meters, Trevor Ciempa holds the top qualifying time, 2:00.18, which is more than two seconds better than the meet record (2:02.65) set last year by Lenox's Scott Carpenter.
On the other hand, Trevor's 800 time is less than a second faster than that of Monument's Jesse Arevelo (2:00.84), the second-fastest qualifier in the event.
Monument figures to do well in the boys team competition, with podium contenders in multiple events and the fastest relay times this spring in the 4-by-800 and 4-by-100 relays.
McAlister, incidentally, has a chance to double medal. In addition to holding the second-fastest 2-mile time, he has the third-fastest mile time going into the meet (4:32.57).
In the girls D2 meet, the county's best hope for a title might be Mount Greylock senior Emily Kaegi in the 2-mile run.
Kaegi's seed time, 11:18.62, is more than five seconds better than the second-fastest runner going into the meet, Sutton's Jessie Cardin (11:23.94).
Like McAlister, Kaegi should contend in both distance events. Her mile time (5:13.68) is just less than a second slower than Tyngsborough's Kerri Keohane (5:12.73), the top-seeded miler at the meet.
Lenox freshman Shannon Meisberger could reach the podium in three different events. She's seeded fifth in the 100 meter hurdles, seventh in the long jump and ninth in the 400 hurdles.
In the 100 hurdles, her seed time of 16.54 is the fastest among four podium contenders from Berkshire County. Wahconah's Gianna Moncecchi, Mount Greylock's Sydney Gurek and Drury's Alyssa Marceau are seeded eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.
In Division 1, Taconic's Courtney Luscier enters Saturday with the fifth-fastest 100-meter dash time in the meet, 12.54. Hudson's Alison Tobin comes in with the fastest seed time, 12.30.
Meanwhile, Dom Nda of Taconic will contend in the 100, where his seed time of 10.74 is hot on the heels of Wachusett's Michael Owusu (10.60), the fastest runner in the meet coming in. Nda also could medal in the long jump, where his mark of 20 feet, 10 inches is six inches ahead of the the ninth-longest jumper in the meet.
In the javelin, Pittsfield senior Aaron Weeks has the third longest throw this spring among competitors at the meet (159-9). Saint John's Mitch Early is the favorite in the event, with a seed mark of 182-1.